March 2010, Usborne Children's books
32 pages, Hardback
Everything you would ever want to know about Knights and Castles
Summary from Usborne Children's Books
An action-packed book depicting life in the Middle Ages with scenes bursting with people and objects for children to find, count and talk about.
Scenes include a village fair, a fantastic feast, a Spring jousting tournament and a school for young knights.
Helps develop vital word and number skills
This is a quite a different book to the Horrible Histories, Nasty Knights. Everything here is cute and fluffy (well, the illustrations are cute. There is some danger when the castle is under siege, and residents are at risk from flying objects, but mostly this is how I imagine some of the knights and ladies of castle look in stories I read)
Each page/double page spread has a large picture about a particular part of the castle. Inside it people are going about their lives, with a lot of humour in some cases. On each page the reader is asked to find Will, who is a squire aspiring to be a knight. Additionally, around the edge are objects/people which the reader is asked to find (always a certain number, which varies). This encourages observation skills, and helps educate readers about life at a castle. At the end of the book Will has to go on a squire's quest, so the reader has to go back through the book and find a certain number of particular objects.
- Topics covered
- A castle home
- Bird's eye view of the castle and it's grounds, including people enjoying a boat trip in the moat
- Castle life
- What goes on mostlly in the courtyard, including a boy splashing in puddled by the laundry tubs
- In the kitchen
- Lots of spillages going on here, as well as cheeky mice who are helping themselves to food or teasing mice
- A village fair
- Where you can buy shoes, watch jesters juggle, buy fabric, and even see pickpockets at work (I liked this touch of realism)
- Woodland rescue
- Everyone is trying to either save the damsels in distress, or protect them from the rescuers.
- Fantastic feast
- So much food here - but not everyone is happy - some are bored!
- Winter party
- Everyone is out skating on the ice, including the royal family. There are even knight snowmen!
- Spring tournament
- Jousting, archery, snacks, injuries and excited spectators.
- May Day
- Everyone is celebrating, some around the maypole, others near the crowned may Queen (some of the girls are jealous of her), or playing games
- Castle garden
- This is my favourite scene because all the ladies of the castle are relaxing, chatting to each other, some are reading, others are sewing, two are playing chess.
- Knight school
- At last Will gets to check out knight school! The squires work hard.
- Knights at Arms (which is the castle under seige)
- The knights aren't there to look good, they also have to fight!
- New Knights
- The knighting ceremony - mischief continues here too!
Learn about castles and knights by finding objects hidden in the pictures
Knightly books: Horrible Histories: Nasty Knights
Finding objects in pictures books: The Great World Search and The Great City Search